Lower back stretches

Some of my favourite stretches for the lower back.  Use for either warm-up or cool down.  Remember to breathe regularly during these stretches, don’t hold your breath!

Sitting leg cross:

While sitting, extend your right leg straight in front of you. Bend the left leg and cross the foot of the left leg over and rest it to the outside of your right knee. Then bend your right elbow and rest it on the outside of your upper left thigh/knee, try to be just above the knee. During the stretch use that elbow to keep your bent leg stationery with controlled pressure — don’t push too hard. With your left arm extended behind you and the hand resting on the ground for support, slowly turn to look over your left shoulder. You should be rotating your entire body from the waist up as if you are turning to see or talk to someone behind you (but don’t move your butt!). With slight pressure, use your bend arm to help push you in the direction you are turning to get a good stretch — don’t push too hard, just so you can feel the stretch. Hold the position for roughly 10-15 seconds, switch sides and repeat.  Try to do this at least two times on each side to get a quality stretch.

Sitting leg cross back stretch
Sitting leg cross back stretch

Knee Pull:

To perform this stretch, lie on your back and bend your knees. With both knees bent, bring your right foot up and rest your foot/ankle on top of your left knee — you can adjust this as needed by sliding the right leg down up to the knee-joint (will increase/decrease the stretch). Clasp your hand together and grab your left leg just under the knee. Gently pull the left leg (bottom) toward your chest and hold both thighs closely until a stretch is felt in the butt/lower back. Only pull the leg until a stretch is felt, do not pull too hard.  Hold for 15-20 seconds, switch legs and repeat.  Do this 4-6 times to get a good stretch.

Lying on your back, cross your legs and pull towards your chest to get a good stretch in the lower back
Knee pull while lying on your back

Lying back stretch:

While lying on your back, bend one leg and rotate so the bent leg crosses over your body (turning your hip that direction). Try to keep your back and straight leg flat on the ground.  Using  the opposite hand, push slightly on the bent leg towards the ground until you feel a stretch.  You should feel it in your hip and lower back.  Do this for 30 seconds, switch to the other leg and repeat.  Do this 1-2 times each side for a good stretch.

Lying on your back, cross leg and rotate
Lying on your back, cross leg and rotate

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